The Otodus obliquus is an extinct mackerel shark which lived during the Paleocene and Eocene epochs, approximately about 60 to 37.5 million years ago. It grew up to 30 feet in length, with teeth that measured up to four inches. An aggressive predator with a mouthful of razor-sharp teeth, the Otodus preyed on marine mammals, large bony fish and other sharks. It is thought to be among the top predators of its time, lurking in wait for prey as large as early ancestors of our modern whales.
A fossil is the prehistoric remains of a plant or animal. Most fossils are created when a plant or animal is buried under layer after layer of sand and mud. Under the massive pressure of hundreds of thousands of years these layers become sedimentary rock. Minerals from the rock seep into the plant or animal, replacing them with a perfect replica in stone.
Fossils come in all shapes and sizes – they are as varied as the plants or animals they once were. The largest are dinosaur bones (which may be ten or more feet in length for a single bone) and the smallest are plant spores only a few hundredths of an inch across.
Fossils are found all over the world. As the wind and rain erode hillsides, fossils become visible, and scientists can find and study them. Removal of fossils from the rock is done very carefully to preserve the beauty and detail of the specimen.
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